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Working note on issues at stake in financing of migrants/refugees wishing to set up micro/small businesses or engage in self-employment

Publication Papers

Most studies on migrant entrepreneurs embrace the broad spectrum of migrants ranging from recently-arrived refugees to the second, third or even fourth generation. But this spectrum covers both persons completely deprived of all assets (and sometimes hope) in need of specific assistance as well as well-trained, educated individuals endowed not only with an enterprising attitude but also with financial and social capital. The latter would need just the same support as any other starting entrepreneur. Access to finance for all these segments is different: the completely deprived person wishing to engage in part-time solo self-employment to generate additional income on top of social welfare benefits – or the experienced person with a longer track record and with assets at hand who wants to become fully independent? The newly-arrived or the ones who have already been in their new country of residence for years?

Since very little specific attention has been paid to the recently-arrived newcomers (both refugees and economic migrants) EMEN has decided to pay special attention to this group of migrants, especially those wishing to become a small micro-entrepreneur or self-employed trader. Thus, where in this paper mention is made of “migrant entrepreneur”, we refer mainly to recently-arrived persons, with the explicit condition that they have an enterprising attitude and are endowed with the basic entrepreneurial characteristics known as attributes for successfully starting and developing a self-employed activity or setting up a small business. Hence besides being eligible (i.e. belonging to the group of newcomers) there must be a clear selection moment at the outset of those whom we consider potentially successful as self-employed people or entrepreneurs.